Tuesday, 28 December 2021

Chapter 60




Yep, I'm 60, no idea how that happened, lol

I've been treated to lots of goodies including some Pandora gifts from the girls and Mark gave me the money to buy a light for my Lowery stand :-)

The lovely Jo gifted me the Bird Street Yarn, chocolate and those cute little bath truffles, they smell amazing! Thank you Jo. x

The two items below were from my sister.  
I know they won't be everyone's cup of tea but I love them! 
When we were clearing out Mum's house, me and my sister had gone into town to see if the charity shops were taking donations, (as there was a threat of another lockdown a lot of charity shops weren't  taking donations).  We walked into one and these were just sitting on the shelf, it was truly serendipity!

  Mum had a cheese dish in the same design which was my granny's, (Jenny, my eldest daughter now has that) but, we had been talking about how granny had a biscuit barrel to match and no one knew what had happened to it , and the next day we walk into the shop and here is the biscuit barrel I remember sitting in my granny's china cabinet, well I just had to have it, and the butter dish had to come home with me too because it is just so cute! 
My sister said If I wanted them she would get them as part of my birthday present, of course I said yes please :-)
Like I say, they probably don't appeal to a lot of people but they remind me of my granny and my mum too now, who I think guided me to that shop that day.

I have my granny's china cabinet and they will eventually live in there but, for the moment they are on my kitchen window where I can admire them


One last special gift.  
With so many birthday's in December my mum had already put out all the money for them, so this is my last present from Mum.  I have no idea what I will buy yet but I will put the money towards something special.


I also got a cold for my birthday :-(
I felt like I was coming down with it when I got up in the morning, we don't think of a common cold anymore though do we?  But I tested twice yesterday and this morning and It is a cold.

Everyone came round at lunch time to partake of sandwiches and cake but by the time they went I was feeling quite rough.  I was in bed at 8.30pm and had a lie in this morning.  I feel a lot better now, 

I did test again this morning, (still negative). I just think with everything that's been going on, together with late nights and early mornings I've probably been doing too much.

This afternoon though I'm putting my feet up, watching a film and stitching!

Hope you have all had a wonderful Christmas

-X=


Friday, 24 December 2021

Advent socks

 In this recent post I mentioned how I'd created my own yarn Advent this year and you might have spotted this wrapped package on the top of the basket.  

Around Christmastime last year I was having a sort out and I had the idea of wrapping a skein of yarn from my stash and opening it on December 1st to knit a pair of socks throughout December.  


I'd completely forgotten what yarn I'd wrapped up so it was a lovely surprise to open this colourful skein from Mr & Mrs Rabbit Yarns called Fairy Lights

Despite really wanting to knit socks I have struggled with making them.  I think because there are so many patterns and different stitch counts to choose, It gets me confused and I end up overthinking everything.  Anyway, with the success of finally finishing my second ever pair of socks, which I shared here, I decided to have another go, and, ta da, I have finished another pair!


I cast these on December 1st and finished them on December 23rd.  I can't work out why, but they really seemed to take no time at all.  I used the tutorial by Craft House Magic for the heels and toes, (I find the Ellie explains things in a way I can understand), the contrast blue for those was a mini I had in stash, which I think goes really well.

I won't be casting on anymore over Christmas as I've got some stitching I want to do but, I have picked out some more yarn to cast on another pair on New Years Eve.

I've been last minute wrapping today, we had Bonnie on Wednesday and Thursday and I didn't get chance to do it, Mark has put together the children's bikes and scooters while I made gingerbread granola and stolen tray bake for extra gifts, (both are lovely because, well, I had to sample first, ha ha).


Here are the rest of my advent yarns, and yes, I saved all my chocolates :-)


Jo included a lovely ceramic spoon in today's package , I love it Jo, thank you.


And it just so happened that I also had included a mug in my own advent calendar :-)


And here is my basket of goodies all ready to add into my blanket next year :-)

🎅MERRY CHRISTMAS🎅

-X-

Tuesday, 21 December 2021

Getting closer

 I thought I'd pop in and show you my advents for days 12 through to 21.

Love having these to open each day, I'm really going to enjoy knitting all these beautiful colours into my blanket next year.

This first one is the advent I made for myself


And this one is from the lovely Jo.


December is full of family birthdays, on the 2nd it was my middle daughter, Joanne's, birthday and today Is my grandson, Jacob's second birthday.


Who needs a spoon when you can get your face in the bowl to eat cake lol.



Yesterday was our 35th wedding anniversary, we both forgot, it's only just occurred to me and, I still don't think Mark has realised, lol  Tomorrow is my eldest daughters birthday and then no more birthdays until next week when someone will be celebrating a BIG one!

Hope you are getting through your lists and getting things crossed off, I still have some wrapping to do, I managed to get a chunk of it done this morning, about another hour should see it all done thank goodness, it's not my favourite thing to do.

I'll pop back in a couple of days

-X-

Sunday, 19 December 2021

At the farm

This week Arty had a trip to a farm with nursery, parents were told that they could accompany their child, although it wasn't necessary.  As Jenny would be at work that day I offered to go with Arty.  

It's not very often I get to spend time alone with Arty as is in nursery on the day's Jenny works, so it was lovely to spend the day with him.  He is a completely different character to Oliver, and much more boisterous, but still great company.

He is big into animals, especially farm animals, he has a huge collection of Schleich plastic animals and they are pretty much all he plays with, so a day at a farm was perfect for him.


They had lots of piglets and Arty just loved them so much, we had to go and see they about four times, they were rather cute though 




There was an enclosure with Meerkats, they are funny little creatures aren't they?


They would all run in and have a warm every so often




I felt quite sorry for this beautiful owl, he should be out in the wild not in this enclosure.  He looked a bit scared of all the children and the noise they were making



There was a laughing Kookaburra, which I've never seen before, I was hoping to hear them, but they were not up for laughing


There were lots of goats but this one wanted his photo taken, ha ha


There were the usual sheep, ponies, deer and fowl as well, although all the ducks and chickens were confined because of avian flu.

There were some Christmas related activities too, Santa came to see the children and they got to decorate a gingerbread man and play some games and of course the children got to choose a present off Santa, Arty chose some more farm animals, of course!  to go with the other hundred or so he already has, lol.





We had a brilliant day and Arty was as good as gold.  He was absolutely shattered by the end though and slept most of the way back on the coach.

I can't believe that Christmas is now just a few short days away, I'm afraid that I'm not really in a very Christmassy mood, I'm just going through the motions.  
I've still got a lot of presents to wrap which I'm planning on tackling tomorrow, all the food shopping is done, no big shop for us, I've been buying extra treats for weeks and putting them away and I've done a rough meal plan for the week after Christmas, for which everything has been bought.   I would say that I was looking forward to a rest and some time at home but, as I don't go out to work now the days are really not going to be any different to any other day!

I will pop back and share the rest of my advent yarns with you before next weekend

Take care
-X-

Sunday, 12 December 2021

Sock Knitting

I started these socks a while ago and they were on my list of projects to get completed before Christmas.  All that was left to knit on both of them was the foot part so it's didn't take too long once I picked them back up again. 

The pattern is one of the Miss Potter Sock Club patterns by Kay Jones of the Bakery Bears, this one is called Jemima and the yarn is called Carousel by West Green Loft Yarns 

I really love the pattern and the texture that it produced, and look, no holes on the heels 😁  I'm quite pleased with myself for that


Here are day's 10, 11, and 12 of my yarn Advent, from Jo on the right, mine on the left.
These are going to look lovely in my blanket, thank you Jo. 


Do you see my Christmas cactus peeking in the photos?
It has so many flowers and buds, I think there is one on each of the leaves, just beautiful!


See you soon
-X-

Thursday, 9 December 2021

Yarn Advents

 I was rather greedy last year and had four yarn advents.  Three of them I purchased and one was a swap with my lovely friend Jo.  A lot of yarn dyers seemed to put their advents up for sale very early in the year this time and I just wasn't ready to think about Christmas in March.  Yarn advents have also got very expensive this year, I'm not saying that the price isn't justified, there is a lot of  planning and hard work involved in putting them together and they do have to put together multiple Advent boxes.  One of he reasons I didn't buy one this year is because I've tried to be a bit more mindful of what craft supplies I've bought all year.  There are only so many things you can use at a time and I no longer see the sense in having a large stash of things that I won't get around to using, must be an age thing, ha ha.

It's still lovely to have something to open leading up to Christmas though, so I made my own. Throughout the year I bought mini skeins when I've seen some I've liked and put them away unopened.  When Oliver came for a sleep over last time I gave him the job of putting together my Advent for me, It did cost me more in sweets as it was a case of one in the bag, one for Oliver, lol  But he did a great job and enjoyed doing it too.

I've been doing a yarn Advent swap with Jo for a few years now, (is this the third year Jo?)  I do look forward to this because it is more personal, and I love putting things together for Jo in return.  Look at the lovely box of goodies Jo sent me :-)

There was also a box in there for my birthday, which is safety hidden until after Boxing day ;-)

Thank you so much Jo, everything looks lovely and I'm really enjoying opening the little packets each day.

Here are my Advents days 1 to 9 from Jo

And here are days 1 to 9 of the one I did myself

And most unusual for me, I haven't had a single chocolate yet!  I'm going to save them up and indulge on Christmas Eve.

As you all know, there has been lots to do and sort out these last few weeks, we have just about got things done now and we will be saying our final goodbyes to mum on Tuesday.  Christmas won't be the same this year that's for sure but, It's been nice to have something to look forward to open of an evening when I finally sit down.

-x-

Saturday, 4 December 2021

Finishing the projects

Thank you for your messages of condolence following my last blog post, they all meant so much to me.  There has been so much to do this last week, things to take care of and things to decide on.         We are getting there, slowly.  It's not a nice job going through a parents belongings, and of course there is all the furniture too.  With the best will in the world it's impossible for us to keep everything, a lot will have to go to charity, we have tried as much as possible to donate items to animal charities, mum loved all animals so we are thinking that by donating there mum is also helping the animals she loved.

********

 This is not how I imagined my December would be and I'm so glad that I managed to get all my Christmas shopping done by December 1st, at least I don't have the added stress of gift shopping.  I promise myself every year that I will have it all done by December 1st but it never happens, except this year It did, how strange.

I thought before we got any further into the final month of 2021 I would share a couple of finishes with you.  I resisted starting anything new, although towards the middle of November I was itching to, I knew I had things prepared ready to start on the 1st of the month so that kept me focused.

First was this cardigan for Jacob


There wasn't a lot to do on this to get it finished, I stalled because I was getting close to the end and I dread the sewing up.  I go great guns at a new project then when I'm getting close to the end I start thinking about the sewing up and suddenly I loose interest, does anyone else do that?  
Once I set my mind to finishing it it didn't take too long, good job as it won't have much growing room.


Next to get finished was something I started in July

Bonnie was looking through a crochet book and asked for a lion.  I made the head, stuffed it and sewed on all the various bits, then I got distracted.  It had sat on the dining table since July because I knew I'd done the hardest part, all the rest was straightforward and I thought If it was sat there I might feel inclined to finish it.  Three months later, it's done.

He didn't have a mouth stitched on in the book and now I'm looking and thinking he might look better with one?  Bonnie was happy with him anyway.


I can't even remember when I started my next finish, I do remember starting it to try and use up some bright coloured Stylecraft Special DK I had.  It only took me a couple of nights to get finished in the end and now Bonnie has a lovely little blanket for her dolls.


I finished off two more projects since writing this blog post but I will have to keep those for another time as I haven't got round to taking any photos of them yet. 


I'll try and pop back again later in the week if I can as I also have some lovely advents to share.

-X-

Sunday, 28 November 2021

Mum

 I'm so very sad to tell you that my mum passed away in the early hours of Thursday 25th November. 

As you know mum went into respite care a few weeks ago following a fall and a rapid decline in her mobility.  Whilst in the care home it became clear that she wasn't going to regain even the limited mobility she had had previously and there was talk of her remaining in the care home where she could have round the clock care, although it was a big change for her she did realise that she needed more care than we could safely provide for her at home.   

The week before she went into respite she had been assessed and diagnosed with both Alzheimer's and vascular dementia, although this was still in the early stages, there were days when she got very confused and mixed up, it was hard to see her memory getting worse.

The photo below was taken about 5 years ago at my niece's wedding.

We are grateful that when the end came she was not in pain.  For a good few days she had kept saying that she was so tired, and when she was put to bed on Wednesday night she became unresponsive a few hours later.  She never fully regained consciousness, only occasionally opening her eyes but not acknowledging or speaking to us.  

In life she was a quiet person who got on with things and didn't want drama, so it was no surprise that when she passed it was quietly, without fuss.  We were with her the whole time, holding her hands and talking to her.  I'd like to think that she knew she was not alone and that we were there.

28th August 1928 - 25th November 2021

Good night, God bless mum

-X-